Twisted Ovary

Causes And Treatment For A Twisted Ovary

While a ruptured ovarian cyst can cause a great deal of pain, a cyst that is left to grow can also cause a twisted ovary and even infertility.  Ovarian cysts that become four centimeters or larger will usually cause the ovary to twist, especially if there is also a tumor present.

A twisted ovary restricts the flow of blood that the ovary needs to stay alive.  As a result, the ovarian tissue dies which is referred to as ovarian necrosis.  When this happens it can destroy your chance for future fertility.  Also, the inflammation can cause septic shock, infection and even death.  Reported cases have also been documented of a twisted ovary causing a significant amount of damage to the urinary tract as well as blood clots.  Surgery through the abdomen is typically the only option.


Hemorrhage can significantly complicate an ovarian cyst.  It is important to be aware that there is a difference between abdominal hemorrhage and a ruptured endometriomas that causes a hemorrhage.  If an endometriomas ruptures, it leaks blood into the abdominal cavity. Blood that is associated with an abdominal hemorrhage comes from an actual organ.  Therefore the blood leaked is much greater and very hard to stop.

Hemorrhagic complications occur more in the right ovary because the left one is provided cushioning from the large bowel.  This helps to protect it from twisting and trauma by securing it in place.  The right ovary does not receive much support which leaves it quite vulnerable.  If a hemorrhage complicates an ovarian cyst, emergency surgery is necessary to remove the hemorrhoid material and stop the bleeding.

Ovarian Cyst Overview

During your menstrual cycle, every month a cystic structure forms which is called a follicle.  To stimulate the egg release, the follicles secrete both estrogen and progesterone.  Sometimes, for whatever reason, the follicle keeps growing and turns into an ovarian cyst.

Ovarian cysts are actually much more common than you probably know and you may have even had one in the past but have not been aware of it.  Often they show no symptoms at all and most will resolve themselves after a couple of menstrual cycles have taken place.

A simple cyst will only contain fluid while a complex one will contain solid and fluid contents.  Complex cysts are those that will likely cause a twisted ovary.

These complex cysts are typically discovered by accident during an ultrasound or a routine examination.  While some women experience no symptoms, others will have painful or irregular periods, pain during a bowel movement and pain during intercourse.  When an ovarian cyst is suspected, an ultrasound is performed so that the location, composition and size can be determined.


Ovarian Cyst Treatment

Treatment options depend on what type of cyst you have, location, speed of growth, size and your age.  Stopping it before it grows large enough to cause a twisted ovary is crucial.

In the circumstances when surgery is absolutely necessary, laparoscopy is chosen by the majority of surgeons when possible.  This is a very conservative procedure, making three small incisions on your abdomen.  Surgical instruments that are extremely small are inserted in through the holes and they are used to remove the cyst.  However, if the cyst has indeed caused the ovary to twist, a larger incision needs to be made.

The removed tissue is sent for biopsy.  Unfortunately, if the tissue is found to be malignant, reproductive organs may need to be removed.

Recovery is usually without complications for most women but recovery time depends entirely on individual circumstances.  Once you have had one ovarian cyst, they will commonly reoccur if your ovaries are not removed.